February is upon us once again and the crushing realisation has hit me that it has been another month where I have not published an article.
I used to love writing, I wrote all the time. At one point I even wrote once a week for a number of years, but then I started forcing myself to write about facts and information and new things I'd learned through my career, and I kind of lost the love for it.
I sit down to write and start trying to come up with things that would be helpful, beneficial or marketing-related, but I get overwhelmed and settle on the topic of - nothing. So perhaps this is entirely irrelevant but I need to write something to shake off the cobwebs, and who knows, maybe someone would love to hear a little brain-dump from me (here's looking at you, mum!)
January typically marks a month where we set ourselves lofty goals for the year, resolutions we hope to stick to and challenges we aim to complete by the end of the month. And despite January being 132 days long, it's good to regroup, and to take stock, and to congratulate ourselves for making it through the longest month of the year.
I'm sure that some of you have achieved everything you set out to achieve in January, but I know for the rest of us we may be transferring some things from our January to-do list onto our February to-do list and feeling a little bit disappointed that this is where we're at again.
Now, I'm not an expert on setting goals, but in my aversion to reading fiction I do end up reading a lot of productivity books in the hopes that one day I will wake up and be someone that never procrastinates, and while I haven't quite got there yet, I seem to have developed some techniques that help me to get closer to achieving goals, or at least getting myself over the latest molehill that looks like a mountain.
So, if you're struggling to sink your teeth into your Big Scary Project™, or have been putting off tackling your Big Business Goal, here's some things that help me to kick-start my motivation.
You're just a big stupid reptile and should care for yourself as such.
Even geckos get toys in their enclosures for enrichment. I like to think of myself as a big stupid gecko. When my brain isn't co-operating I like to look into my terrarium and think "what needs aren't being met, little guy?"
The first one is normally always environment. How can anyone be inspired staring at the same four walls of their enclosure? Get outside. Move around. At the very least your dog/tortoise/significant other (delete as appropriate) will thank you for it.
Write everything down. Yes, everything. Everything that's in your head will stay in your head, and your brain will keep bringing it up indefinitely until you either complete The Thing or make peace with The Thing.
Get it all out. Park it on a piece of paper and pick it back up when you're ready. Thought, feelings, tasks. Once they're all down look through everything and say - what's the one thing, that crossed off, would make everything else easier? That's the thing. That's your priority. Tackle it, come back for the rest.
When the motivation isn't motivating, find inspiration externally. Take a break, open up YouTube and watch something to get you excited about whatever it is you should be doing. My favourite is Struthless. The guy's incredible. 15 minutes of Struthless hyping me up always sets me off on the right track.
Remember when I said I was just a big stupid gecko? It's time to check in with my needs again! What's this? I have not eaten or drank a sip of non-caffeinated beverages for an entire day? Time to maintain my gecko needs! Once this is taken care of I usually find everything else so much easier.
Finally, go back to your brain dump, and with That One Thing in mind, set a timer and crack on. Whether you spend 2 minutes, 10 minutes or 30 minutes working on The Thing, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you finish, just make a start.
So why don't we shake off any negativity together and start a new month afresh?